Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Review and Giveaway: Relic Master: The Dark City by Catherine Fisher

Catherine Fisher has written some popular YA books, Incarceron and Sapphique which I have not read. Apparently they are brilliant dystopian works of art. I don't know if that's true or not, but I can say that the first book in the Relic Master series, The Dark City, is a very fun middle grade fantasy.

I've said often that I'm not a huge fan of fantasy, but that's not true. I actually quite enjoy it when it's written for a younger audience. I'm not exactly sure why, but it's a lovely fit.

The Dark City introduces to us Galen and Raffi, who I suspect are the main characters throughout the series. They are relic master and his apprentice. Essentially, I think this means they are magical and have third eyes and can see and sense and manipulate certain objects that also have magical power called relics. But, alas the world they are living in is deeply unfriendly towards them, their capital city has fallen and the Watch has taken over and they try to kill all the Keepers and keep the magical relics for themselves. Galen and Raffi get tricked into making a trip to find some powerful relics in order to get one of their own back. Only Galen has a secret. He had an accident some time back and has lost all his power. Raffi is not yet fully trained so they are vulnerable. They meet a girl along the way who is looking for her lost father..or is she? Can they make it to their destination without being killed?

I was pretty easily swept up into this story which was clearly set in an alternate reality and yet not too complex with pages upon pages describing the weird lands and creatures. One thing that was really interesting to me is that the Relic Keepers are framed as the Order..they must pray and have faith even though darkness is threatening to defeat their world. It's interesting to me that created religions and faith systems often play a big role in the fantasy books I stumble across. Is this common?

Anyway, completely enjoyed this one, it's the first in a series of books but they all come out pretty quickly this summer so no waiting, yay!

Rating: 4/5
Source of Book: Received for review
Publisher: Dial (Penguin)

About the Series
Welcome to Anara, a world mysteriously crumbling to devastation, where nothing is what it seems: Ancient relics emit technologically advanced powers, members of the old Order are hunted by the governing Watch yet revered by the people, and the great energy that connects all seems to also be destroying all. The only hope for the world lies in Galen, a man of the old Order and a Keeper of relics, and his sixteen-year-old apprentice, Raffi. They know of a secret relic with great power that has been hidden for centuries. As they search for it, they will be tested beyond their limits. For there are monsters-some human, some not-that also want the relic's power and will stop at nothing to get it.

RELIC MASTER is a four book series. Each book will be released over four consecutive months this summer:
Book One: The Dark City, May 17
Book Two: The Lost Heiress, June 14
Book Three: The Hidden Coronet, July 12
Book Four: The Margrave, August 9

Each book will include a piece of the map of Anara, the world of RELIC MASTER, on the reverse of the jacket. Collect all four books and you will have the complete map.

You can learn more about the series by visiting The Relic Master website!


Two lucky people will win copies of The Dark City. You must have a United States address to enter. I will choose winners on June 15th. Winners will be emailed.


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